Bella Charleston

Picking out a bridesmaids dress these days is not what it use to be.  Gone are the days of spending hundreds of dollars on a dress you’ll never wear again.  Now girls have so many great options from beaded and sequined dresses fit for a ball, to easy separates that you can mix and match with your everyday wardrobe for extra mileage.  Step into Bella Bridesmaids and it’s a dream come true for any bride who wants lots of options for her party.  You can shop a dizzying array of dresses and separates by Theia, Monique Lhuillier, Jenny Yoo, Amsale, and Adrianna Papell just to name a few.  

The owner of their Charleston location, Allison Long, opened up her shop over 10 years ago downtown on King Street and is currently on John Street in the Upper King Street area. She stocks 20+ designer collections with over 1,000 dresses sampled in store.  Her boutique has become a great resource not just for wedding parties but also prom, graduation dresses, and black tie affairs.  With over 50 Bella Bridesmaids nationwide it’s so easy to accommodate bridal parties.

Allison is always promoting her store with fun fashion shows, collaborations with other boutiques, and trunk shows.  They’re currently having a Bella pop up shop at Maddison Row’s new location on Friday and Saturday.  Pop by 189 C St. Phillip Street to browse their gorgeous selection.

Tomorrow’s my big Bridal segment on Lowcountry Live where I’ll be featuring bridal looks that are red carpet ready.  With the Oscars right around the corner I’ll be featuring dresses that are fit for a Hollywood A-lister, but also perfect for your wedding day and beyond. Tune in tomorrow at 10am to see designs by Emily Kotarski, Mason Hosker, and Hermosa Jewelry alongside dresses from Bridal House of Charleston and Bella Bridesmaids.

Headpiece by Emma Katzka at Emily Kotarski, Jewelry by Hermosa Jewelry, Bouquet by Frampton’s Flowers

Photography by Clay Austin, Model – Christina Zapolski at Directions USA, Styling by Andrea Serrano, Makeup and Hair by  Mac Does Hair, on location at The Gadsden House

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Garden Of Eden

The newest Charleston designer on the scene is Danielle Hosker of Mason Hosker.  She opened her flagship boutique on State Street in the French Quarter in December and has quickly made a name for herself.  Her dresses have been seen on the red carpet on Asher Paul with the director of LaLa Land at the Golden Globes and SAG award winner Uzo Aduba of Orange is the New Black.  Structured silhouettes in luxe fabrics that have a touch of vintage glamour is what you’ll find in her boutique.

Once you slip on one of her dresses you’ll know that fit is everything.  Danielle is a ballet-trained dancer who co-founded Dance FX, and has a natural sense of how fabric should fit and move with the female form.  Her past experience with interior design has beautifully translated in her collection with the textiles she uses.  The colorful and pattern friendly dresses create whimsical vignettes throughout her store.

The occasional dresses at Mason Hosker are perfect for galas, weddings, cocktail parties, and mother of the bride.  You’ll find couture quality, original designs, and classic styles that can live in your wardrobe forever.

Stay tuned for more of Mason Hosker on Lowcountry Live this Friday at 10am, a runway show on Friday March 17th at Charleston Fashion Week, and her grand opening party in March.

Headpiece byEmma Katzka, Necklace by Hermosa Jewelry

Photography by Clay Austin, Model – Christina Zapolski at Directions USA, Styling by Andrea Serrano, Makeup and Hair by  Mac Does Hair, on location at The Gadsden House

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House of Style

The Bridal House of Charleston is a bridal boutique veteran in the Lowcountry.  The locally owned business has been established for 30 years and the new owner Tierney Simpson is breathing new life into her bridal shop.  Her wide variety of dresses cover everything from classic silhouettes to beautiful beaded gowns in a wide variety of prices.  She focuses on a handful of designers representing a true collection from Robert Bullock, Truvell, Amy Kuschel, and Justin Alexendar who designed this dreamy dress.  

It’s trunk show season and they are gearing up their Justin Alexander trunk show this Friday through Sunday, so book your appointment so you can try on gorgeous dresses like this one.  Looking for a white dress for a special occasion but not necessarily tying the knot?  Their Robert Bullock Debutante Collection trunk show is happening now through March 6th and they’ll have plenty of dresses to try on and order.

These beautiful earrings and bracelet are made by local designer Haley Keisler of Hermosa Jewelry. She creates one of a kind jewelry from dainty to bold that always makes a statement.  She works closely with brides to create custom jewelry for them and their bridal party and has made jewelry for over 100 weddings!  Haley is always on the move with her jewels and will be setting up a pop up shop at the Style Lounge at Charleston Fashion Week on Thursday, March 16 and at Volvo Car Open April 1-9th.

These stunning shoes by Emmy London are just a teaser of what I’ll be featuring from Mason Hosker tomorrow on the blog.  Stay tuned for more bridal fashion on Lowcountry Live this Friday at 10am for my Fashion Friday segment!

Photography by Clay Austin, Model – Christina Zapolski at Directions USA, Styling by Andrea Serrano, Makeup and Hair by  Mac Does Hair, on location at The Gadsden House.

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Goddess Dressing

This week is Wedding Week on  Lowcountry Live, and I’m so excited to share a few local bridal designers and boutiques that carry beautiful dresses and jewelry that are perfect for the big day.  Tune in on Friday at 10am to see designs by Emily Kotarski, Mason Hosker, and Hermosa Jewelry alongside dresses from Bridal House of Charleston and Bella Bridesmaids.

The first one in the series is local bridal designer Emily Kotarski who opened up her design studio on King Street last year.  The independent designer has quickly made a name for herself by landing her stunning teal lace dress in an editorial spread for Charleston Wedding Magazine and a solo show during Charleston Wedding Week.

Designer Emily Kotarski sources materials from Europe and keeping up with the trends of fabric, laces, embroideries and beaded embellishments,  her gowns are one-of-a-kind and made with the finest materials.  All gowns are made by hand in her King Street studio, and you can work closely with the designer to make a custom gown of your dreams.  The intimate and one-on-one VIP experience is what you’ll get when you meet with Emily.  The Parsons graduate interned with Anna Sui and Fabiola Arias where she learned the manipulation of fabric treatments including beading, applique and couture hand sewing details.  This particular dress called Sterling, has a silk chiffon detachable cape that is hand painted by Emily herself.

Emily also carries local accessory designer Emma Katzka’s collection of bridal ready headpieces and jewelry like this crystal headband. The fairytale inspired accessories pair perfectly with Emily Kotarski’s goddess-like gowns.

Emily Kotarski is taking her show on the road, well actually just down the street at Fabulous Frocks 100 Church Street for a trunk show from March 10th-15th.

This beautiful locket necklace is by Haley Keisler of Hermosa Jewelry, and you’ll be seeing more of her designs this week on the blog!

Photography by Clay Austin, Model – Christina Zapolski at Directions USA, Styling by Andrea Serrano, Makeup and Hair by  Mac Does Hair, on location at The Gadsden House.

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Love Bus

Peace out to the crazy hectic week and hello to the weekend!

I had a blast on the shoot with Sarah Berrard of 7 Gypsy and Terra the beautiful VW bus from Lowcountry Valet.  Fun and magic happens when you get 3 girls together that love a little vintage throwback.


Always keep it positive and spread the love.

Lana Romper by ASTR $99, Sancia Bootie by Sbicca Vintage Shoes $95, Snake Bite Earrings by Heather Kahn $66, Muse Necklace by Erin Semel $153 7 Gypsy

Photography by Clifford Pate, Makeup by Elina Mille at Bellelina, Hair by Mac Does Hair

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Nibbles at Napa

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A couple of weeks ago I had the honor of hosting a lunch at the newly opened Napa Mt. Pleasant in Mt. Pleasant Towne Centre.  Situated across the street from the movie theatre, this is primo location.  Towne Centre is known for it’s great shopping, and having another quality place to eat is always an added bonus.

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I invited a few of my friends for an afternoon of tasty delights and as always great conversations.  We were greeted with mimosas, which is a nice treat in the middle of the day. I was joined by Erin Kienzle and Tom Crawford of Lowcountry Live, Liz Martin The Charleston Weekender, Libby Williams of Plate South, Jaime Huffman of Charleston Blonde, Dominique Mackins of Charleston Fit Foodie, Jenny Dennis of Skirt Mag, Gillian Ellis of The Charleston Blog Society, Emily Kotarski, Mimi Striplin of The Tiny Tassel, Melissa Bowman of The Blue Root, Venita Aspen, and Julianne Taylor of Taylor Burke Home.

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We were lucky enough to be treated with a 4 course meal that represented the fresh, local ingredients that their menu is based on.  Chef Ken Aponte explained every course in detail, and it was endearing to hear his story and the thought process that goes into every dish he creates. When you know the back story and what goes into your meal, I always think it tastes better.

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We started off with the fresh baked bread and homemade pomegranate butter.  It was hard not to have seconds and thirds of this.  Next up was the mozzarella stuffed meatball on top of a crispy polenta cake covered in pomodoro sauce.  I don’t eat beef, but this meatball really wanted me to change my ways.  Instead I got to trade in my meatball for another polenta cake, no complaints about that.  The 2nd course was the roasted beet salad with frisee, goat cheese, tomatoes and candied walnuts.  If anyone knows me they know I always order the beet salad, and this one did not disappoint!  For our entree we had the Maple Leaf Farm duck breast over a wild mushroom and fennel risotto with that distinct truffle oil that makes every dish over the top.

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With Venita Aspen, and Julianne Taylor cheersing to that amazing meal!

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We always have to take pictures of our food before eat it, especially when it’s this photogenic.

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The standing ovation was this “Chocolate Deathstar” as Chef Ken describes it.  Inside this chocolate work of art was a tiny ginger cheesecake topped with a raspberry gelée.  I almost didn’t want to eat it so I could take it home to my kids and just admire it for a little while.  It’s creative dishes like this that get me excited to come back for more.  Whether it’s a dinner date night with my hubs or lunch with the family before we catch a flick, I’ll definitely be coming back to Napa Mt. Pleasant.

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Warehouse tie waist shirt dress $70 from Asos // Vivacious Dress Pump in Indigo $28.46 by BC Footwear from Amazon // Blue Planet Eyewear Sunglasses $49.95 from Amazon // Chloe ring with diamonds $395, Madison ring with 3 diamonds $295, Sage earrings with diamonds $175, Silver Leah ring $25, Vanessa ring with diamonds $355, 3/4″ Paula cuff $225 all by Ash Hoffman // RMS Beauty nail polish in Beloved $15 from Anthropologie

Photography by Libby Williams

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From Charleston with Love

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There’s no doubt that Charleston is one of the most romantic cities in the world.  It’s easy to get enchanted by it’s old world charm and beauty.  I recently did a Valentine’s Day gift idea segment on Lowcountry Live and I discovered some local businesses that would contribute to a romantic experience whether your a local or visiting town.

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Wonder what’s it’s like to live in a beach house on Folly or Isle of Palms, or a beautifully restored home downtown?  Luxury Simplified Retreats offers posh accommodations by way of grand homes, villas, and condos.  One of their properties is this historical house on Spring Street downtown that was formerly owned by Thomas Mayhem Pinckney. He was a notable African-American craftsman who played an integral part in the preservation development in Charleston.

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The top that I’m wearing is actually a layered 2 piece sold together at  Maris DeHart.  It’s got that 90’s vibe with a modern day twist. You can always find emerging accessory brands at Maris DeHart, and this watch and earrings are no exception. The watch is by Berg & Betts, and they make their leather straps out of scraps repurposed from luxury accessory brands.   The earrings are by Larissa Loden who also upcycles unwanted pieces to create something new.  With average prices of $35, it’s a no brainer to scoop up something for you or as a gift for someone special.

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This beautiful bouquet by Frampton’s Flowers will light up any room.  The 50-year old business is getting a new life by offering special arrangements for weddings and events. Who doesn’t love fresh flowers?

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Top by English Factory, Watch by Berg & Betts $148, earrings by Larissa Loden $48 //Jeans by Ellison Apparel from House of Sage // Custom wedding bands by Ash Hoffman // Intentionally Blank lace up heels $58.50 from Nasty Gal //  RMS Beauty nail polish in Diabolique $15 from Anthropologie // Bouquet by Frampton’s Flowers

Photography by Clifford Pate

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About Charleston Shop Curator

Charleston Shop Curator serves as a fashion blog and shopping guide to showcase the incredible diversity of style in Charleston, South Carolina. We continually strive to expose local creative talents from designers to stores. Here you can find all of the treasures Charleston has to offer, and more.

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